Digital Crisis Management for Small Businesses during the Coronavirus
Covid-19 has crept up on us, causing a tidal wave of destruction. Nobody could have foreseen the impact that it is having on small businesses across the world. We would like to express our sincerest sympathies for companies that have had to close or pause their business due to this crisis. From hotels to restaurants to construction to suppliers working in these sectors, everything has had a knock on effect and we will feel the weight of this crisis for many months to come.
To stay optimistic and try to see the light at the end of this never ending tunnel here are a few actionable items for your business right now.
- Advertising. With Adwords you can easily pause ads for countries that have flight bans in place. If you have signed up for partnership advertising or page take-overs, explain your predicament with the crisis and ask if you can re-schedule the campaign.
- Manage your social media channels. Don’t post about these countries on social media. Pause all scheduled posts and social media that is no longer relevant.
- Effective communication is key. Establish a way to communicate with current and past clients. Email, chat, messages and social media will work.
- Listen to the updates. Stay up to date with the right news sources. For the travel and hospitality sector Phocuswire are doing a coronavirus updates blog.
- Read the forums (an example of this is the Camino de Santiago forum hosted by Ivar. People are congregating on forums to discuss the impact). In addition to valuable sources of information, they also provide hope and motivation that travel will once again take off.
- Set the right expectations. This can be difficult as even the professional medical advisors are unsure of what to expect but honesty is the best policy. Be realistic about your current situation and truthfully explain to your customers why you need to take time out to reassess the landscape.
- Be clear in your deposit refund and cancellation policy. Ideally have this on your website to direct people to.
- Respond with care. Reply to all social messages and comments with care, showing your vulnerability but also your strength. Remember that customers are scared at the moment. It is our job to reassure them. Care builds trust and will nurture your relationship for the future.
- Have a back-up person. Many larger companies will have a crisis management team to handle these turbulent days. Use your connections and us if you want to provide reassurance to clients or just need to have a chat to clear your head.
If you have had to close for a short period, consider it as valuable thinking time. Something that we rarely avail of these days. Use your time wisely, to plan ahead, to research trends, to follow up with old customers, to re-imagine your brand, to upskill with online training and to clearly define your digital marketing strategy.
This infectious disease has taken us all by surprise but with careful planning and crisis management tactics we can come out the other side stronger than ever.
We are here to help you with all of your digital needs. From content to strategy to design, get in touch with us for customised advice during this time.